Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Apropos of something: Healer Rules

Our GL was accused of - gasp - healing unfairly (!) in instances. I have a strong suspicion I know who it was, a "professional" that apparently knows neither how to run a priest, or, from the looks of things, his own class (He was level 70 when Flora was still level 50. In her last run with him, he just barely out-damaged a protection pally.) .

In light of this, a few words on healing, as expressed over at Kestrel's. To wit:
  1. We heal you. We don’t necessarily save you from your own stupidity. Sometimes that happens, usually more by luck than design. Be thankful.
  2. In a 5-man instance, in Karazhan or Zul’Aman, and in any 25-man raid, our priorities are always the same: Tank(s), ourselves, the rest of you, your pets. So knock it off with the "HEAL ME!" crap: You’ll get it when it’s YOUR TURN (Jasra sez: You might try, oh, I dunno, using one of those warlock spells that sucks life from your opponent to heal yourself. If your DPS sucks, a few seconds healing yourself is not going to cost you your spot on the charts. Well, maybe. That prot pally is pretty menacing.) . If you’re really lucky (or not: this can vary by circumstance) you may get the benefit of Binding Heal, Prayer of Healing, or Prayer of Mending.
  3. A good priest doesn’t need to "mana up" after every pull. A really good priest may not need to mana up at all while clearing trash all the way to a boss. But if I tell you I need mana, don’t start the next pull until I’m ready. If you do, be sure to run back, because I won’t be rezzing you. Call it "reinforcement training."
  4. If you take a lot of damage in a very short time, I can heal you for a little, or a lot. It takes me at least 2.5 seconds to heal for a lot, plus reaction time. Solution: Get better gear.
  5. I am squishy and taste good with condiments. I have a very limited arsenal for getting out of trouble (Psychic Scream can have a LOT of unintended results, none of them favorable). All of them involve Not Healing. So if you see me under duress, it IS your job to get the bad guy(s) off me. Just do it.

This whole concept of "healing unfairly" really puzzles me. Assuming such a thing is possible, first of all, that would mean the death of the raid. Everyone in the raid has a function, if for no other reason than to serve as an aggro shield for the healers. Losing 1/10 members means someone isn't around to do his or her job. So such a thing is in fact self-defeating. (I guess if the person thus targeted was usless, it wouldn't matter, but to paraphrase Ruthless People, completely useless people are hard to come by.)

Let me break this down in my own way.
  1. Tanks first. Tanks are the anchor around which the fight is constructed. In a fight like Maiden, for example, your MT needs to keep aggro so he can lead her around by the nose and position her in the middle of the circle, so that everyone else can use that as a guide. If the tank dies, the fight goes out of control for a brief amount of time - or maybe forever, depending on how far the off tank is on the aggro list. Only one other person will have priority over the main tank, and that is...
  2. Me. If I am the main healer, and am at 10% health, I have a tough decision to make. If the tank is almost dead, what do do? But assume the tank is up, and in good shape. If I get low, I have to heal myself next. If we have another tank, I even have priority over the main tank (I am gambling that the OT can pull it off, of course) . But, you know, if the healer is down, there are no healz. You better finish it in the next 10 seconds, because that is about how long you got without a healer.
  3. DPS - The rule is this: DPS doesn't get hit. If you are doing your job, you don't get hit. Sure, there are fights like Shade or Netherspite where you're going to take damage, and we're there for you, brother, when that happens. But if you take aggro away from the main tank - and Omen will tell me - you are Breaking The Rules. You will be taking damage intended for the main tank - who we are prepared to heal - onto your own frail body - who we are prepared to heal maybe later. Watch your aggro or we will find DPS that can. You don't need aggro mitigation tools to do this, just slow down, OK? Get your e-peen in the battlegrounds.
  4. Pets - Warlocks have pet healing. Hunters have pet healing. Use it. If it slows your DPS down, maybe that will avoid #3 kicking in as a concern. If everyone else is hunky-dory I will drop a heal on your pet Gummibear. Or whatevs.

And finally: yelling out for healz is not going to help, EVER. Why? Because any self-respecting healer is going to be using unit frames, Grid, or whatever, to manage the healing magic, and that means that the healer is perfectly aware of what is going on and has deliberately chosen to heal something else first. And considering that the healer is probably more in the loop as to the state of the rest of the raid, you will get your healz, sir, when the time is right. In the mean time, I suggest a nice bandage, warlock candy, or other patches against excessive death (All this assumes, of course, that the healer doesn't have his or her head up his or her nethers.) .